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Interview with Dieter Ruehle

by Melody Huskey / Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings Musical Director, Dieter Ruehle, will be in Vancouver come early February to coordinate music for the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Ruehle has been with the Kings for 14 seasons now and the NHL for 20 years.

LAKings.com caught up with Ruehle to find out how he got his start and what he is looking forward to in Vancouver.

Dieter Ruehle

LAKings.com: Tell us what you will be doing for the Olympics.

Ruehle: I am going to be playing the organ and the recorded music at Canada Hockey Place. That would be during the hockey games, and I believe that we have three games per day, of which I am working the final two each night.  I am also working the whole final weekend which includes the Men’s Gold Medal game. There is a lot of hockey in the schedule so I get a lot of work.

LAKings.com: This is your fourth Olympics. Have you learned any tricks about getting around the games?

Ruehle: I just learned that it is an incredible experience. The Olympic Village is only for the athletes, so staff stays in the city.  Like when I was in Torino, I stayed in an apartment that was a block away from transportation.  So you would hop on the lightrail and easily get down to the arena.  I have learned that you have to allow for a lot of extra time to go through security, because there are multiple security checkpoints.  You have got to be extra sure not to lose your credential also, it is like gold itself!  You have to be sure to keep your credential in a safe place, or with you at all times.

LAKings.com: What are you most looking forward to?

Ruehle: The overall experience is just amazing because no matter what happens you are going to see history no matter what.  You just hope that there is going to be some great hockey and other than that it is the entire experience that you look forward to.

LAKings.com: What is your favorite moment of your 14 seasons with the Kings?

Ruehle: I have several favorite moments actually.  There was one time in my first year, ’89-’90, when we beat the Calgary Flames in the playoffs in double overtime.  The deciding game was at home and Mike Krushelnyski scored that game winning goal that was a chip shot which arced over Mike Vernon’s glove and we won the game and the series.  Another fun game was at Frozen Fury a couple of years back when we had a delay and Jeremy Roenick started feeling the music I was playing and started dancing.  That was fun.  Of course also, eight or nine years ago now, beating Detroit at STAPLES Center when Adam Deadmarsh scored, that was incredible.  Playoff hockey itself is incredible, every time that we have been in the playoffs are probably my favorite memories.

LAKings.com: Finally, tell us about playing the organ for the Kings on your 12th birthday as part of the "Sports Fantasy" contest on KABC-TV.

Ruehle: It was very brief, just in pre-game and a little bit in the first period.  It was a bit overwhelming because I was a kid and at The Forum there was quite a delay from the time that I would press down a key and the time that I would hear myself.  So I had to struggle a bit, but once I got through that it was such a huge thrill.  Even though The Forum was only about half full for the game that night against the Winnipeg Jets, it was a thrill once I got through all of the technicalities. After that I sat and watched the game right beside the organist.

You can hear Ruehle at work during every Kings home game, or during the Olympic hockey games in February. He will also be tweeting from Vancouver on the Kings account, which can be found at Twitter.com/LAKingsHockey.

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